• Market Crumbs

Companies Rush To IPO Before Year End

Image via Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

With only a few weeks left in 2020, the last ten days or so has seen a handful of notable private companies file to go public before the end of the year.

Airbnb, DoorDash, Roblox and Affirm have each filed an IPO prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as they seek to capitalize on a stock market that continues to sit just below all-time highs.

Real estate rental giant Airbnb released its IPO prospectus, which showed revenues and net income have declined so far this year as Covid-19 affects travel. Airbnb has reported a net loss of $697 million on $2.52 billion in revenues so far this year, compared to a $674 million net loss on $4.81 billion in revenues last year.

"The Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of actions to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic have materially adversely impacted and will continue to materially adversely impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition," Airbnb said in its prospectus.

Airbnb could reportedly receive a valuation of around $30 billion, which would be significantly higher than its previous valuation of $18 billion from April when it raised debt. Airbnb will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol ABNB.

Food delivery provider DoorDash revealed in its IPO filing that business is booming as a result of Covid-19. The company reported $1.9 billion in sales so far this year through September, compared to $587 million through the first nine months of last year.

"The circumstances that have accelerated the growth of our business stemming from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic may not continue in the future, and we expect the growth rates in revenue, Total Orders, and Marketplace GOV to decline in future periods," DoorDash said in the filing.

DoorDash and its subsidiaries accounted for 49% of U.S. meal delivery sales in September, according to Second Measure. DoorDash will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DASH.

Roblox, which makes online games that have increased in popularity amid the pandemic, filed its prospectus as well last week. Roblox said revenue jumped by more than 90% to $242.2 million in the third quarter, while the company's net loss more than doubled to $48 million. Roblox will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker RBLX.

"We have experienced rapid growth in the three months ended June 30, 2020, September 30, 2020 and for a portion of the three months ended March 31, 2020, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic given our users have been online more as a result of global COVID-19 shelter-in-place policies," Roblox said in the filing.

Fintech company Affirm, which offers online installment loans, also filed its IPO prospectus last week as it will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker AFRM. The company was co-founded by Paypal co-founder Max Levchin and works with merchants such as Walmart and Shopify.

Affirm's revenue jumped by 93% in its latest full year to $510 million while the company's net loss halved to $15 million. Affirm says it has 6.5 million customers as 64% of loans taken out this year have been from repeat customers.

As the end of the year approaches, it's shaping up to be a busy December as big names look to close out a strong 2020 for IPOs.

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Leftover Crumbs

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  • Microsoft really wants to beat Zoom. Microsoft is trying to win over Zoom users as it announced its Teams video calling software will be free for users on the web. After announcing the option for mobile devices earlier this year, Microsoft now allows up to 300 users to join an all-day video call on a web browser or mobile device for free. Microsoft isn't requiring users have a Microsoft Account or the Microsoft Teams app to join the video calls.

  • Airlines see bookings drop. With Covid-19 cases increasing across the U.S. ahead of Thanksgiving, American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines are among the carriers that have said air travel demand has fallen as bookings slow and cancellations increase. "Certainly with the increase in infection rates really throughout the country we've seen a dampening of demand," American Airlines president Robert Isom said. "It's really too soon to tell how deep and how long there may be a depressed environment but we've seen some weakening of bookings."

  • Guitar Center files for bankruptcy. Guitar Center, which is the largest music retailer in the U.S. with nearly 300 stores, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Guitar Center has already negotiated with existing lenders for $375 million in debtor-in-possession financing and is looking to raise $335 million in new debt. The company reached an agreement with shareholders earlier this month to restructure its debt and inject new equity into the company. Guitar Center's business will continue to operate as normal.

  • European regulator to OK 737 MAX. European regulators are set to give approval for Boeing's 737 MAX to return to flight following the same decision in the U.S. last week. "We wanted to carry out a totally independent analysis of the safety of this aircraft, so we performed our own checks and flight tests," European Union Aviation Safety Agency executive director Patrick Ky said at the Paris Air Forum. "All these studies tell us that the 737 MAX can return to service. It is likely that in our case we will adopt the decisions, allowing it to return to service, some time in January."